Fox News settles harassment complaints with several women
Update: Gretchen Carlson wasn't the only staffer whose complaints were settled
UPDATE: According to CNN, Gretchen Carlson isn’t the only former Fox News staffer to get a settlement — 21st Century Fox has also made deals with a “handful” of other women who likewise accused Roger Ailes of harassing behavior, the network reported. These payments were “substantially smaller” than Carlson’s $20 million, the site reported. The move suggests that Fox News is moving very quickly to put the scandal in the rear view mirror. One person whose complaint was not settled, CNN added, is ex host Andrea Tantaros, who the network has labled an “opportunist.”
PREVIOUS: Fox News isn’t exactly known for making apologies and retractions. But the bombastic and popular cable news network’s parent company 21st Century Fox issued a surprising statement in support of former anchor Gretchen Carlson on Tuesday.
“21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit,” said the company’s statement. “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
Carlson issued a statement of her own: “I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my Complaint. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace. I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me in their #StandWithGretchen. All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded.”
Two months ago, Carlson sued her former Fox News boss Roger Ailes, triggering the executive’s downfall amidst a chorus of supportive claims from other network insiders.
If that weren’t enough Fox News drama for one morning, the network also announced that Greta Van Susteren would depart the network after 14 years. Veteran senior political analyst Brit Hume will now take over the anchor slot of On the Record at 7 p.m.
“As one of the best political analysts in the industry, Brit is the ideal choice to host a nightly political program while the most dynamic and captivating election in recent history unfolds,” the network’s co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine said in a joint statement. “Having Brit at the helm of this show will enable Fox News to continue on track to have its highest-rated year ever as the network dominates the cable news landscape.” About Van Susteren leaving, they added, “We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.”